While humans have used their hands to engage in combat since the dawn of man, boxing originated in Ancient Greece as an Olympic event. It is one of the most popular, controversial and misunderstood sports in the world. For its advocates, it is a heroic expression of unfettered individualism. For its critics, it is a depraved and ruthless physical and commercial exploitation of mostly poor young men. This Companion offers engaging and informative essays about the social impact and historical importance of the sport of boxing. It includes a comprehensive chronology of the sport, listing all the important events and personalities. Essays examine topics such as women in boxing, boxing and the rise of television, boxing in Africa, boxing and literature, and boxing and Hollywood films. A unique book for scholars and fans alike, this Companion explores the sport from its inception in Ancient Greece to the death of its most celebrated figure, Muhammad Ali.
Table of Contents
1. Boxing in the ancient world Byron J. Nakamura; 2. The bare-knuckle era Elliott J. Gorn; 3. Jem Mace and the making of modern boxing Adam Chill; 4. Race and boxing in the nineteenth century Louis Moore; 5. Joe Gans and his contemporaries: the contest for supremacy in the Queensberry realm Colleen Aycock; 6. Dempsey-Tunney, Tunney-Greb, and the 1920s Carlo Rotella; 7. Prime time and crime time: boxing in the 1950s Troy Rondinone; 8. The Africans: boxing and Africa Adeyinka Makinde; 9. A century of fighting Latinos: from the margins to the mainstream Benita Heiskanen; 10. Women's boxing – bout time Cathy van Ingen; 11. Jews in twentieth-century boxing Steven A. Riess; 12. A surprising dearth of top English-born Jewish fighters in the bare-knuckle era Tony Gee; 13. Joe Louis: 'you should have seen him then' Randy Roberts; 14. The furious beauty of Sugar Ray Wil Haygood; 15. Echoes from the jungle: Muhammad Ali in the early 70s Lewis Erenberg; 16. The unusable champions: Sonny Liston (1962–1964) and Larry Holmes (1978–1985) Michael Ezra; 17. Emile Griffith: an underrated champion Mark Scott; 18. Pierce Egan, boxing, and British nationalism Adam Chill; 19. Jose Torres: the boxer as writer Adeyinka Makinde; 20. 'Well, what was it really like?' George Plimpton, Norman Mailer, and the heavyweights Kasia Boddy; 21. Jack London and the great white hopes of boxing literature Scott D. Emmer; 22. Body and soul of the screen boxer Leger Grindon; 23. Black Slaver: Jack Johnson and the Mann Act Rebecca Wanzo; 24. Yesternow: Jack Johnson, documentary film, and the politics of jazz Benjamin Cawthra; 25. Opera for boxers Rosalind Early; 26. The voice of boxing: a brief history of American broadcasting ringside Colleen Aycock; 27. Ralph Wiley's surprising serenity Shelley Fisher Fishkin; 28. Muhammad Ali, king of the inauthentic Gerald Early.